Cheng Dongzhu, female, born on December 14, 1955, lived in Caidian District of Hubei Province’s Wuhan City. She was a Christian of The Church of Almighty God. Those who knew her described her as a very strong, outgoing person. In August 2018, she learned from her son, who was working in a public security agency, that the CCP was about to arrest a Christian. She rushed to report this to the church so that the person in question could escape arrest and persecution by the CCP. From then on, Cheng Dongzhu was closely monitored and oppressed by the CCP for a long period of time, driving her to jump into a lake and drown herself early the morning of July 24, 2019, at the age of 64.
During her life Cheng Dongzhu said that in early August 2018, she learned from her son who worked at a public security bureau that the CCP police were preparing to arrest a Christian from the church. She rushed to share this with the church leaders, and that Christian left the area and went into hiding. The CCP ended up empty-handed in their arrest operation. Less than two days later her son was transferred out of the National Security Bureau.
On August 17, the leader of the Gaomiao Security Team in Caidian District, and another individual went to Cheng Dongzhu’s shop to make inquiries. After they left, while Cheng Dongzhu was doing her devotionals, she heard a bleep and suspected the police may have furtively installed eavesdropping equipment in her shop. In the month that followed, several Christians who visited her in her shop were tracked and arrested, one after another. In late September, Cheng Dongzhu realized that there was a white sedan parked across from her shop every day, and the man and woman that got in and out of it were always at the fruit stand next door to her shop, watching people play cards. This had gone on for two or three months. These signs gave her the feeling that she was already being monitored by the CCP, and so she lived every day in a state of anxiety; at home she couldn’t read God’s words as she normally did, she didn’t dare kneel down in prayer, and she was often sleepless at night. She felt incredibly stressed and was growing thinner by the day.
One day in November when Cheng Dongzhu wanted to go to a gathering, her son stood in her way and handed her his cellphone. He said, “Where you have been, what you’re wearing, what bike you’re riding, which direction you’re going is all seen completely clearly. Don’t go out running around for a while. A number of believers have been arrested recently and all of them are going to be given prison time. We’re going to be conducting a major operation soon. You absolutely shouldn’t go to gatherings anymore!”
Over the following eight months, every time Cheng Dongzhu left the house to attend a gathering there was someone close by watching her and making discreet inquiries into her movements. Whenever she had any contact with another Christian, someone would come forward to ask questions, to inquire. Every time she saw a Christian she would tell them sadly, “The moment I go to a gathering all the neighbors have their eyes on me and there are people watching me in my store, too. Living this way is exhausting! The CCP putting these kinds of constraints on people is crazy-making!”
On July 18, 2019, Cheng Dongzhu told another Christian very nervously with a heavy heart that the CCP police knew that the previous year’s arrest operation had been a failure because her son had leaked the information. She said, “The police call my son to sit in the surveillance room every day to watch the surveillance footage and to find and locate the Christian who got away. If he doesn’t get them, he could lose his job and my grandson won’t even be able to go to university. They’ve even taken away my daughter-in-law’s identification and residential registration.” She anxiously rushed back into her store as she finished saying this.
On July 23, Cheng Dongzhu nervously gave all of her religious materials to another Christian for safekeeping, saying that a major issue had come up at home. An eyewitness said that that same evening after 9 p.m., approximately 20 police officers were stationed at the entrance to her store chasing people away; they wouldn’t let anyone stop there. Police lined the streets from the Caidian District power substation to Shufan Avenue. What happened to Cheng Dongzhu that night is still unknown.
A little after 4 a.m. on July 24, Cheng Dongzhu jumped into a lake and drowned herself, unable to further tolerate the CCP’s harassment and persecution. Her body was pulled from the water at about 1 a.m. on July 25. Thus one very ordinary older Christian was driven to her demise by the CCP.